I’ve seen this question asked a lot on other forums so I wrote up the answer on our adapools.io site and figured it might be helpful here as well:
ORIGINS OF THE WORD HODL IN CRYPTO-CURRENCY
Newcomers to crypto-currency will often be surprised at the constant mis-spelling of the word “Hold” as “HODL”.
Why the constant use of HODL?
It came about from a Dec 18, 2013 post by GameKyuubi on Bitcointalk.org.
His post was titled “I AM HODLING”and referred to the fact that he was not going to try and trade the ups and downs of bitcoin (Bitcoin was crashing during his post) but rather was simply going to hold for the long term gains.
…BTC crashing WHY AM I HOLDING? I’ll TELL YOU WHY. It’s because I’m a bad trader and I KNOW I’M A BAD TRADER.
“You only sell in a bear market if you are a good day trader or an illusioned noob. The people inbetween hold. In a zero-sum game such as this,traders can only take your money ifyou sell.”
He also knew he mis-typed the word but as he put it “I typed that tyitle twice because I knew it was wrong the first time. Still wrong. w/e.”
He was also apparently a bit inebriated when he wrote the post, concluding:
“so i’ve had some whiskey
actually on the bottle it’s spelled whisky
(but only if it’s payable in BTC)”.
And now you know the full background of HODL. After that post, it became the defacto term and rallying cry for holding strong to a given crypto-currency during market down-turns.
Note that hodl has also been re-termed “Hold On for Dear Life”, but in either case the meaning remains the same of holding strong through the various market crashes.